The new Mercedes-AMG A45 hyper-hot hatch gets four-wheel drive and the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine. Here’s everything you need to know about this alternative to the Audi RS3 Sportback.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 hot hatchback
turbocharged, 421hp engine and four-wheel drive
Price and release date
est. £50,000; August 2019
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2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 price and release date
There are two different versions of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45: the less powerful standard model and the hotter ‘S’ edition. In the UK, only the souped-up, 421hp ‘S’ will be available and should cost around £50,000 when it goes on sale in August.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 styling
As the super-sporty version of the new Mercedes A-Class hatchback, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 gets suitably aggressive looks. There’s a chunkier, more prominent grille at the front, which takes its visual cues from the one on the Mercedes-AMG GT supercar. You can also spot larger, more angular air intakes and a pair of bulging ‘power’ creases on the bonnet.
The A45’s sporty profile is pumped up by 19-inch alloy wheels, behind which you can see sporty-looking red brake calipers (on the S model). The performance makeover is completed at the rear of the car by prominent quad exhausts, an oversized roof spoiler and black vent detailing.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 specs
With the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 S, you’ll get extra body rigidity, giving you stronger front and rear subframes. There’s an extra steel plate under the engine, too. These combine to make the A45 feel more agile and responsive on twisty roads. The suspension gets uprated dampers, stiffened springs and firmer anti-roll bars. It is also adjustable, with a choice of three different modes that range from comfort-focused to more track-oriented.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 engine and performance
If you’re in the UK, there is just one A45 engine option available for you, while the rest of Europe also gets the option of a non-S, 387hp version. That means that every UK A45 will be specced with the 421hp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which is good for a chunky 500Nm of pulling power. It also happens to be the most powerful four-cylinder engine on sale in a road car, and enough to propel the A45 S from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, before hitting a 168mph top speed. All of this makes the A45 S the fastest production hot hatch ever. To get all of that accelerative power onto the road, there’s an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 driving
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is equipped, as standard, with a new Drift mode. This system loosens the car’s four-wheel-drive setup so that you can perform flashy (and insurance-risking) powerslides in fast corners on the racetrack. Put simply, it’s very similar to the system that you would find in the Ford Focus RS.
There are six different driving modes as standard in the A45 S, which let you adjust the accelerator sensitivity, gear-change speeds, exhausts, steering and chassis based on how you want the car to handle. This means you can just as happily cruise along the motorway in comfort as you can barrel down a fast and tricky race track.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 interior and infotainment
Not only is the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A45 slated to be faster and more powerful than the last model; it’s anticipated to be more practical, as well. For a start, the boot is bigger. Plus, a longer wheelbase (the distance that separates the front and rear wheels) means that the car should have greater legroom over the prior version.
Inside the A45’s cabin, you get the usual creature comforts of Mercedes’s AMG range. This means that you get some figure-hugging sports seats, colour-contrast stitching and carbon interior trim. The A45 also gets the new A-Class’s MBUX infotainment system. This setup twins the traditional, dashboard-mounted touchscreen with the driver’s display in a dual-monitor layout. It’s simple to use and helps make the interior look stylish and high-tech.
Alongside the usual bells and whistles, the highlight of the MBUX system is its Augmented Reality navigation, which projects useful directional graphics over a live feed filmed by a camera at the front of the car.
As standard, the A45 S gets the AMG Track Pace pack, which gives you a ‘virtual race engineer’. This is a feature integrated into the sat-nav that can guide you through some of the world’s most famous race tracks, as quickly as possible, using augmented reality technology. It also records your 0-62mph and quarter-mile times.
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S is the four-door coupe version of the A45 S. In addition to the snarling grille and red brake calipers of the A45, the CLA’s sloping roofline and pillarless doors are incredibly easy on the eyes. The downside is that, once you’re inside, rear headroom isn’t as generous as the A45’s. The saloon-style boot isn’t as practical, either, even though its 420-litre capacity makes it technically bigger than the hatchback’s.
Under the skin, the CLA 45 is mechanically identical to the A45, although it gets from 0-62mph a tenth of a second slower.
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